To say the least, this was one monster project…(*ba-dum-tssss*)
I recall our first official class this previous September: I was totally overwhelmed by our tight timeline, the scale of our project (compared to the size of our class), and quite frankly whether we were going to be able to pull off a project like this, period. Prior to this Creek Monster class, I had never worked on a project that required so much time, attention, coordination/cooperation, money, resources, etc. I am a Studio Artist by trade- therefore, I am accustomed to working independently, and on a MUCH smaller scale. I think that is part of the reason I was so interested in signing up for the class. I didn’t have a clue about production design or fabrication, and my knowledge of 3-Dimensional art was limited. I had taken one wood-shop class my Freshman year of College where I designed and hand-crafted a breakfast tray…that’s a lot different than a 10 ft tall monster Habitat. However, despite my lack of knowledge in these areas, I knew that this class was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist. So I went for it!
The most valuable thing I was taught, (or rather was burned into my brain), during this class, was the art of prototyping. I honestly don’t think I could tell you how many prototypes our class made collectively..but believe me when I tell you that it was a lot! Working as an independent artist, I never understood the importance of prototyping. Let me clarify: I always made sketches before starting a project, just so I have some initial direction. But that’s the thing: when you work independently, you can change your direction relatively easily AND whenever YOU want to. This mindset was very difficult for me to overcome. Honestly, that was the greatest challenge I faced during this class: to learn how to communicate, cooperate, and find time to work with my classmates and the eye team, (which I was part of). Unlike most classes at UT, this class wasn’t just a random group of students, it was a team. And without each team-member playing his or her essential part, there was no way this project could have been pulled off. It takes great responsibility, ownership, and maturity to understand this and take action.
In my opinion, one of the greatest takeaways from this project is the experience. This class has given me the opportunity to create a project, (one that is larger than I have ever made), for an audience of over 50,000 people. The experience of working with such a fun, creative, dedicated team is something that I am very grateful for. I am thankful for the Texas Applied Arts program for creating this amazing class. In all honesty, I don’t think I would ever have the opportunity to work on a project like Creek Monster without this program. To be able to say that I was part of creating the Creek Monster Habitat for the 2019 Waller Creek Show is a great honor.
Thank you to all the classmates, mentors, professors, guest artists, and volunteers that came together to make our Creek Monster Habitat such a successful exhibit. Cheers!